Dingell Marks 25th Anniversary of Violence Against Women Act
Calls on Senate to Quickly Pass Critical Updates on Reauthorization
Washington, September 13, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) marked the 25th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urgently pass the House-passed reauthorization.
Passed as part of the 1994 Crime Bill, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is landmark legislation responding to our nation’s crisis of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
“Twenty-five years ago we recognized that no woman, no child and no family should fear for their life because of domestic violence,” said Dingell. “When I was a child, I remember the fear, the seeking help and no one responding because you didn’t acknowledge the problem or accept the reality of what happened behind closed doors. Much has changed since those days and the passage of VAWA in 1994. We have broken down stigmas and more survivors are coming out of the shadows escaping abusive situations and seeking the support they need. Protecting and expanding this has been a priority for me since coming to Congress.”
Dingell continued, “As we recognize the progress made in twenty-five years, we also know there are many remaining challenges. Without updates or support for the critical programs in VAWA we are moving backwards, good programs helping victims are losing critical funding, and one more fear is being added to the pile survivors are dealing with. VAWA has always been a bipartisan effort. The House passed critical updates to VAWA more than 160 days ago. Senate Majority Leader McConnell must schedule a vote now.”
In April, the House passed critical, long-term updates that reaffirms protections for all women, men and children, and includes vital improvements to address gaps in current law that have been identified by victims, survivors and advocates to keep our communities safe. The updates includes two provisions written and led by Dingell. The bipartisan Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act closes loopholes that make it easier for perpetrators of dating violence and those convicted of misdemeanor stalking to legally access guns. Dingell expanded on the health titles in the bill to strengthen the healthcare system’s identification, assessment and response to domestic violence, sexual assault and dating violence survivors with an expanded focus on accessing behavioral health and safety resources across the lifespan.